In Depth

Glazers 'will not sell Man Utd' as Woodward feels transfer heat

Fan discontent on the rise at Old Trafford once again, but unpopular owners are going nowhere

Manchester United's controversial owners, the American Glazer family, have no intention of selling the club in the next five years, despite the recent share issue in New York that saw them offload another five per cent of the club.

Doubts were raised over the club's future after the death of patriarch Malcolm Glazer in May. He oversaw the purchase of the club in 2005 but since then the family has relinquised control of 15 per cent of the club.

The Glazers sold ten per cent to investors on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 and another share offer was announced last month, prompting more speculation over the owners' plans. 

But according to The Guardian, Malcolm Glazer's six children "are intent on continuing as proprietors of the 20-times champions for the foreseeable future" and will be in place for at least the next five years.

The paper admits the news will "not be well received by those supporters who harbour ongoing discontent at the family's ownership model, which heaped around £700m of debt on to the club".

There was anger among fans after the opening-day defeat to Swansea at Old Trafford, some of it directed at Ed Woodward, the man the Glazers appointed as chief executive in 2012. He is under fire for failing to wrap up big transfer deals both this season and last.

Earlier this week the Daily Mail reported that Old Trafford could see "a return to the days of 'Green and Gold' protests as impatient supporters grow increasingly angry at what they see as a lack of investment in the squad by owners the Glazer family".

Fans, said the paper, are "furious that the most important season in recent times has begun with United thrashing around for new players when they were led to believe all key business would be concluded shortly after the World Cup finished at the start of July".

The arrival of £16m defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon may quell some of the unrest, but more recruits are needed.

Woodward, the club's former commercial director, cannot afford to miss any more of his targets, believes Mail columnist Martin Samuel.

"Woodward got away with it under David Moyes," he writes. "He failed to deliver in his new role every bit as much as the manager, but had huge credit with the Glazers from his previous work at the club. It was easier to remove Moyes and keep the executive who had almost doubled United's commercial revenue."

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